Cathy Areu, founder of Catalina magazine, a publication intended to shatter stereotypes of Hispanics in the US media, was a guest on a recent Tucker Carlson Tonight show. She was there to support Ja Du, a transgender white person who claims to be transracial and identifies as a Filipino woman. Ms. Areu stated her belief that in America, everyone is free to be who or what they say they are.
Ja Du was born Adam Wheeler and grew up loving Filipino food and culture — and is really into transculturalism. Du boogies around town in a purple motorized rickshaw that Du calls a Tuk Tuk, a vehicle used for public transit in the Philippines.
Regardless of the questions that Carlson asked Ms. Areu that challenged her position, Ms. Areu, doggedly repeated her mantra, In America you can say you are and be whatever you say you are.
As Carlson continued to unsuccessfully probe illogical aspects of her thinking, Ms. Areu stuck to her guns, repeating over and over that In America you can say you are and be whatever you say you are.
Don’t you just love it? I certainly love it because I have a similar axe to grind.
My axe is this: I believe women, older women in particular, should be legally free to be whatever age they say they are. I am so adamant about it that I devoted an entire chapter to the subject in my book, The Expert’s Guide to Strut Your Stuff: How Boomers and New Retirees Can Stay Youthful Longer and Live the LIfe They Really Want. The chapter title is “Legal Perceived Age: The Next Revolution”.
A revolution? For sure. That’s what it’s going to take in our culture that refuses to face up to reality about the insignificance of chronological age of older women.
When I was writing my book I thought my idea might be scoffed at (and undoubtedly it was and still is). However, thanks to the courage of avant garde thinkers and pioneers of emerging radical belief that everything and anything is possible, I am beginning to think it is likely that sooner than later an older woman will no longer have to endure being victimized by hostile antediluvian cultural norms about chronological age that have never made any sense.
Legal perceived age would open up employment opportunities that are now out of the question for women of a “certain age” even though more women are choosing to work longer and should not have to deal with moss covered notions about age-determined suitability for a job.
A man over age 65 is usually at a much more advanced stage of deterioriation than a same age woman, yet there is little social issue about whether or not his advanced age has a bearing on his suitability for a job. (At age 65 he is “seasoned” while she is just “too old”). A government statistic1 states that between 2000-2014, the number of individuals 100 years or age or older and in good health increased by a whopping 43.6 percent, yet we cling to flat earth thinking about the meaning and significance of chronological “old”.
Legalized perceived age would also make it possible for a single older woman whose fitness and appearance belies her chronological age to have more choices in finding a suitable (i.e. younger) partner whose age and vitality correspond to her perceived age.
I don’t think Americans are quite ready for what Ms. Areu or I support, but for me, hope springs eternal. While my chronological number says I’m 88, a telomere test has determined my cellular age is a mere sixty-seven.
Yes, in America, everyone should be free to be whoever and whatever they say they are. Just ask me how I’m feeling today. Without question or hesitation my reply is “I’m 67 and fabulous” and I don’t just “think” it — I KNOW it. I AM what I SAY I am. I call it “transage-ism”. No, it’s not scientific and may not even make sense to shallow thinkers, but who cares. You may be laughed at today but tomorrow you will be venerated for having the perspicacity to create your future, to go where no one has dared to go before. Try it, you might like it. Or, maybe not.
(1) NCHS Data Brief No. 233, January 2016 Mortality Among Centenarians in the United States, 2000-2014